Mayor candidate: "Display Concorde on the Harbourside"
BRISTOL'S mayoral candidates told a packed hustings how they would bring the "wow factor" to the city.
All but two of the 15 candidates attended the last of the hustings organised by The Post, which was held at Bristol City FC's ground at Ashton Gate. About 100 people attended last night's event.
Geoff Gollop (Conservative) said he would like to see an annual celebration of Brunel's achievements, as well as to display Concorde on the Harbourside.
Owain George (Independent) said if people were encouraged to make the best of their skills, this would generate a wow factor in the city.
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Tim Collins (Independent) said Bristol was a British gem and he would want to make an impression for people at Temple Meads as well as create a piazza in front of St Mary Redcliffe Church and uncover the docks in the Centre.
Rich Fisher (Independent) said he wanted to see manufacturing brought back to the city so he could walk into a shop and find "Made in Bristol" on items.
Neil Maggs (Respect) said he wanted to see a celebration of the aviation industry by opening a museum and finding a proper home for Concorde. He also wanted to organise tours of where the TV series Only Fools and Horses was filmed in the city.
Daniella Radice (Green) said she would like to encourage more art and music events in the city as well as open a new art gallery.
Marvin Rees (Labour) said bringing the Commonwealth Games to Bristol would put the city on the map.
He said what was more important than buildings was social mobility, so that people did not end up depending on their parents' backgrounds.
George Ferguson (Bristol 1st) said he helped to organise the Festival of the Sea in Bristol, which celebrated John Cabot's voyage across the North Atlantic to Newfoundland and led to hundreds of hours of TV coverage for the city.
He said he would like to see a Rio-inspired festival which brought together the best of the St Paul's Carnival and the Balloon Fiesta.
Jon Rogers (Lib Dem) said many events, such as the Banksy exhibition, See No Evil event and the Wow! Gorillas had helped to put Bristol on the map. "We have to have the new football stadiums and the arena," he said.
Spud Murphy (Independent) agreed that Concorde should be put on the Centre and also wanted to see a barrier across the River Avon at Avonmouth to stop it being a "mud gully".
Philip Pover (Independent) said the only way to generate a wow factor was to improve transport.
Stoney Garnett (Independent) said: "Let's just keep doing what we are doing. On this question, all the candidates are agreeing."
Dave Dobbs (Independent) said a new stadium would see a "massive volume of people come to Bristol".
The candidates also spoke about housing issues and what they hoped to achieve in their first term of office.
Afterwards, members of the audience gave their views on the event.
Software programmer Stephen Shakespeare, 40, from Cotham, said: "I'm glad I came because it gave me a chance to see how each of the candidates came across.
"I'm still undecided how I will vote because I have reservations about them all."
Clare Willis, 24, an office worker from Downend, said: "It was much better to hear from the candidates face to face instead of relying on what you read in the leaflets.
"This will make me look at their policies more closely."
Pauline Finlayson, 55, a chef from St Werburgh's, said: "I have read what they have got to say and my interest in coming along stemmed from that."